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At Least 49 People Reportedly Killed in Boat Accident in DRC

Congo River - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 15.10.2023
In early September, according to a Nigerian emergency official's statement, a boat, ferrying 100 farmers to their crop fields on the other side of the Niger River, overturned in the north-central part of the country. The accident resulted in about 26 people killed and dozens missing.
About 49 people were killed and at least 120 individuals went missing as a boat capsized on the Congo Rover in the Equateur Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the country's Mbandaka city, media reported, citing provincial Deputy Governor Taylor Nganzi.
"The boat was traveling to Bolomba, a territory more than 300 kilometers (186 miles) from the port of Bankita in Mbandaka city when it tipped over at night, which is illegal," the official was quoted by the outlet as saying.
According to Nganzi, there were children among the dead, the report added, saying that the death toll is still inconclusive.
"On board were passengers and cargo which included construction materials. The search for the missing is ongoing," he added, according to the outlet.
The accident reportedly occurred due to exceeding the load limit. The witnesses said that there were around 500 bags of cement and iron bars on the board, the media revealed.
According to the outlet, because of the rough roads in the country the river transport is popular in DRC, however, it is forbidden for the boats to travel at night to avoid accidents.
As for other river accidents in Africa, in early September, the head of the Nigeria's Niger State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Garba Salihu reported that at least 26 people died and dozens went missing following a boat accident in the country's north-central Mokwa district.
In addition, in June, another riverboat capsized in western Nigeria, killing about 100 people, local media said.